Today’s job market is tough, and despite The Great Resignation, the employment fields have become even more competitive. Being a good leader, whether a veteran or an aspiring one, can have a tremendous impact on your career advancement. Here are 7 leadership qualities that will help you perfect your leadership abilities and style.
One of the most important qualities to have as a leader is your ability to empower others. Leaders can motivate their teammates with a sense of purpose and passion. A team with purpose communicates effectively and produces high-quality work, allowing for further growth as a team and a company.
An empowering leader also helps their team by providing constructive criticism and advice without being demanding or overbearing. Teams are likely to shut down around, or even flat-out ignore, leaders who are quick to lose control of their emotions or are inept at communicating. Instructing a team with compassion and understanding can help propel them and you to new heights.
In the last few years, leaders have learned that resilience is key to surviving in today’s work environment. Health risks, disgruntled team members, and hostile clients mean that a leader must have the mental fortitude necessary to stay calm during stressful moments at work even when others aren’t.
Intense situations arise in every leader’s life. Sometimes daily. A leader must have the resilience needed to remain steadfast. When one problem is quickly replaced by another, it is vital for a leader to have the tenacity to withstand the pressure and keep the team moving forward. To better work under pressure, participating in resilience training can help build the foundation needed to be a great leader.
One of the most overlooked qualities of a good leader, humility, can go a long way in earning team members’ respect. Learning to accept when you are wrong, or might be wrong, is a quality most people appreciate. A leader is not expected to know everything, and admitting you don’t know can be difficult, but it can also be the difference between what makes you respected as a leader or not.
As a leader, learning to accept your mistakes allows your team to do the same, fostering honesty and communication. Doing so will inevitably build rapport and respect amongst your teammates. Humility can be the cornerstone quality that a leader can lean on to help bring their team together.
A leader knows when to make a decision, even when it’s a hard one to make. Teams look to those in leadership roles to make those tough calls. To rise to the top, you must be prepared to make tough decisions and think on your feet. The ability to come to a quick decision can be a key factor in completing a project on time or watching it fail as your team flounders for answers.
Being decisive can be the quality that gets a leader noticed. And getting noticed is one of the first steps to career advancement. Embracing and practicing mind exercises can help sharpen your decision-making skills and increase your chances of making the right decision at the right time.
It’s crucial that leaders be in tune with others. When a leader is unaware of the emotional status of their teammates it can lead to miscommunications, safety risks, and decreases in productivity. By recognizing the emotional signals in others, a leader can be aware of when team members are beginning to become overworked or stressed and act accordingly.
As a leader, it’s important to understand the signs of depression, anxiety, and burnout in your team. Be thoughtful and observant of each team member’s morale and productivity level, watching for tell-tale signs of who may be struggling. The team’s health and wellness are crucial and recognizing their decline is an unignorable skill. A great leader makes sure to check on their teammates and support them when they need it; proactively addressing emotional and mental health concerns before they become detrimental. Take the time to talk with your team and discover what issues they may be dealing with. Find ways to alleviate those pressures, whether it be by adjusting workflow, performing bi-weekly wellness sessions, or simply being a shoulder to lean on. When a team member is overwhelmed it can bleed into the wellness of the rest of the team, affecting morale, production, and future team relations. Stay ahead of these issues by being emotionally in tune with your team to keep them healthy, happy, and productive.
A cornerstone found in every leader, creativity helps propel teams, companies, and individuals to new heights. Often leaders are overlooked for their creativity, however, it doesn’t go unnoticed. When team members are struggling, or when they are met with roadblocks, an experienced leader can come up with unique solutions that not only solve the problem but make the team experience less stressful.
By exercising your creativity, you maximize your chances of being noticed and potentially putting yourself in a position to grow. Whether it be problems that arise internally or externally, think of possible solutions that can go beyond the immediate needs.
Adaptability is possibly the most important quality a leader can possess. When challenged with ever-changing technology, culture, and workplace landscape being able to tailor your team’s goals to match the ever-changing landscape is essential. Whether adapting to a hybrid work model or implementing new tools, having the ability to quickly adapt those changes to your current practices can set your team up for future success.
A good leader also knows that their ability to adapt is key when managing team members. Teams are collectives of many different personalities, incentives, and styles. A leader who can navigate those differences by tailoring the work environment to each individual's needs and wants can lead to huge leaps in productivity and morale. Being adaptive not only to your practices but your teammates as well holds high value in the workplace.
In order to advance your career as a leader or be ready for your promotion into a leadership role, embodying these 7 qualities can help you get to that next level. A leader never stops learning and growing, which inevitably is reflected by those they work with. Leadership can be contagious when wielded by the right people. Be the example your team needs.